MANCHESTER, N.H. (WCAX) Another setback for the victim of a brutal domestic assault. Carmen Tarleton has become blind again … 11 years after her first injury.
Our Adam Sullivan has been following Tarleton's story for the last decade. He spoke with her Tuesday to learn about this latest challenge.
"When I was injured for the first time, the hardest thing at the age of 39 was to be totally blind," Tarleton said. "I never accepted that blindness then, and I did not expect to go blind now."
Tarleton is not one who deals with the negative. But when she learns to use a cane in her new apartment in Manchester, New Hampshire, she says she can survive a few hard weeks. The former Upper Valley nurse, who was attacked in her house in Thetford eleven years ago in a brutal house attack, recently went completely blind.
"Honestly, the first few weeks, I do not know I was not prepared and I was shocked," she said.
Tarleton was doused with lye that burned almost her entire body, including her eyes. Her eyesight was partially restored by surgery, but a synthetic corneal implant she received after her injuries became infected last month.
"What has shown me is that I have to prepare," she said.
What Tarleton means once again teaches you how to cope. On this day, it's a trip to the laundry room and back.
The doctors say that in six months they will have a better idea of whether their eye heals and another corneal implant is possible. A face graft that she received a few years ago makes things more complicated.
"It really is in the air, whether with my immunosuppressive drugs, how well it will work or not," said Tarleton.
But as a forgiveness prize sitting on her windowsill ̵
Reporter Adam Sullivan: How are you now?
Carmen Tarleton: I'm fine now. I am more hopeful and learn what I have to learn.
And it brings additional costs – both with new medical bills and with the cost of living.
"Being completely blind, I need new software, I need new things, I need education," she said.
Tarleton contacted the New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation Office for help, but was recently informed of bad news.
"I was told that I was 478th on the list. You may not be able to see me until the spring," she said.
In the meantime, her sister Kesstan helped set up a Go Fund Me page. They hope to use the donations to mitigate the financial burden of this recent setback.
"I've always been so blessed and grateful for all the help I've received, and I've received a lot over the years." Tarleton said. "It really drives me and finances me to move forward."
Click here to visit the GoFundMe page for Carmen Tarleton.